There is an old song that is entitled “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” I would disagree with that. Dogs are a girl’s best friend.

I’ve had dogs since I was little. Although I don’t remember my first few dogs (Sarge, a lab mix, and Wawa, appropriately named for a Chihuahua), I grew up with dogs. I loved them all, but some I loved more than others.

When I was maybe 11 years old or so, Doug Davis (a teenager in my mom’s Sunday School group), came by our house one cold evening. He came inside, opened his jacket, and there was the cutest bundle of black fur I’d ever seen. He found two puppies abandoned in a barn and wanted to know if we wanted one. I begged and pleaded and did the whole “I PROMISE I will take care of him, mom!” bit. And so “Blackjack” became a part of our family. He stayed in our laundry room and, every morning before school, I would clean up the floors, mop them, feed him... he was my responsibility and I took that very seriously. Oh, how I loved Blackjack!

Over the years, growing up and in my married life, we’ve had our share of AKC registered dogs. A Doberman named Heidi, who was smarter than a lot of humans I know; Weimaraners Eric, Baron and Fresca; a Beagle named “Dodi.” We’ve raised and sold puppies, and I loved all the dogs and all the puppies.

But, about 14 years ago, we decided to go the “rescue” route. Being a lover of Weimaraners, we adopted Max. Max was a 3-year-old Weim in Dallas. His owners were elderly folks and when he tested positive for heartworms, they didn’t have the means to treat him, so they surrendered him to a rescue. It was love at first sight for me. If you know anything about Weimaraners, they can be quite energetic and fun-loving. I met two or three other rescues and loved them, but they were pretty high energy. Then I met Max. He came out, walked right up to me and just sat down. I reached down to pet him and he just sat there, enjoying the petting.

Max was a part of our family for 11 years or so. My folks were his grandparents and babysat when we went out of town. All he wanted was to be loved, and loved he was!

When we lost Max, we took a break from pets, but about a year or so later I was ready for another dog. I knew I didn’t want another Weimaraner. Even though I love the breed, my heart belonged to Max and he would be my last Weim. So, I got online and Googled “best family dogs.” Yellow labs popped right up. I then googled “yellow lab rescues near Longview.” A picture popped up. A ‘not quite 2-year-old’ yellow lab had been dropped off at a high kill facility because she was heartworm positive and, again, the people didn’t have the means for treatment or didn’t want to. Either way, “Honey” (as we re-named her) came to be a part of our family. Again, it was love at first sight.

I’ve been thinking a lot about dogs lately. I’d love to get another dog (Honey needs a companion, but Jerry hasn’t bought in to that idea just yet).

If you have been thinking about getting a family pet, may I suggest looking in to getting a rescue? There are SO MANY pets out there who just want to be loved. They haven’t done anything wrong; people just sometimes can’t (or won’t) take care of the animals they have, and those pets have so much love to give.

We love our “Honey” and will probably always get a rescue from now on. Take a trip to a local humane society or Google “rescue animals near me.” If you allow yourself, you will instantly fall in love and change a life forever (and I’m not just talking about the dog).

”Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” Karen Davison.

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— Dawn Dillard is a proud East Texas gal who loves all things southern especially cooking, music and family. She can be reached via email at